2021 Resolution: Don’t Let the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020 Go to Waste
Upcoming CBF Student Debt Briefing
CBF Joins Cook County, Circuit Court, and Other Partners to Launch Groundbreaking Program for Eviction and Consumer Debt Cases
Fall Benefit Wows Kids and Adults Alike
A Self-Inflicted Access to Justice Scourge
November 9, 2016
History was going to be made one way or another in last night’s Presidential election, and a lot will be written today and in the coming weeks about what it all means now that we know the outcome. While I’ll leave it others to opine on the larger consequences of last night’s verdict,* there is one question of particular import for those of us in the legal community: what does it mean for access to justice?
The answer to that question largely remains to be written, and as always has been true, our legal community will have a big say in what the answer will be. While we don’t yet know to what degree a President Trump will prioritize access to justice in his Administration, there is a lot that we do know, and some fundamental facts are just as true this morning and going forward as they were before the election.Tags: Advocacy read more ...
November 3, 2016
The CBA and CBF’s 12th Annual Pro Bono Week featured a number of successful programs and events that underscored this year’s theme, Caring, One Person at a Time. Rachel O’Konis Ruttenberg, Executive Director of the Family Defense Center, and Andrew Vail, Partner at Jenner & Block LLP, co-chaired the Week, which ran from October 24 to 28. We are delighted that hundreds of legal professionals in Chicago came together to celebrate the important pro bono work being done in our community and to encourage even more pro bono work in the year ahead.Tags: Events | Pro Bono | Pro Bono Week | Success! | Training | Volunteer read more ...
November 2, 2016
After all the election results are in and the dust has settled, the CBF will hold its 3rd annual Advocacy Workshop! Larry Suffredin, CBA Legislative Counsel and Cook County Board Commissioner, will share his wisdom about the new landscape at the federal, state and local levels and how that may impact access to justice issues.Tags: Advocacy | Training read more ...
October 19, 2016
Breaking Ground had been providing education, job readiness, and employment services to Chicago’s North Lawndale community for years before seeking help from The Law Project, a program under Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign. Breaking Ground needed legal assistance with the purchase of a residential building to provide transitional housing for ex-offenders who successfully completed their job-readiness program, and The Law Project had the resources and expertise to help make that a reality. A partnership soon developed, and Breaking Ground continued to turn to the program for help with other legal matters, including a merger with another organization, partnership with general counsel, and tax issues.Tags: Investing in Justice Campaign | Legal Aid Organizations read more ...
October 17, 2016
Last year at this time I kicked off the Bobservations series with what then seemed like a great idea to me: seven pro bono related posts in one week, one post for each day of Pro Bono Week 2015. I ultimately succeeded in that quest, but may have been the only person who actually read all of them. So I am not going to try that again this year. Instead, I want to focus on one of the key pro bono themes I referenced in last year’s series the power of proximity as it sets a great tone for this year’s CBA/CBF Pro Bono Week and its theme of Caring, One Person at a Time.
Proximity in this context is drawn from the great Bryan Stevenson and refers to the importance of getting closer to the problems that low-income and disadvantaged people experience in the justice system. While there of course are many other reasons that pro bono plays a critical role in our profession and in our communities, proximity is the most underrated and arguably the most powerful benefit of pro bono for all concerned.Tags: Pro Bono | Pro Bono Week read more ...
October 17, 2016
CBF Fellowships awarded to five legal aid attorneys will help them to pursue careers in public service and continue serving the most vulnerable people in our community
Five outstanding legal aid attorneys tonight became the final class of CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellows. This program, in its tenth and final year, has made it more manageable for 50 legal aid lawyers to continue their careers in legal aid in the face of significant student debt loads. In doing so, the program has played a key role in improving access to justice for people in need and making the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone.
First awarded in 2007, this is the tenth and final year the CBF will award Sun-Times Fellowships. Through a generous $2 million cy pres award from a case involving the Chicago Sun-Times, in 2006 the CBF was able to create this 10-year Fellowship Program to provide significant loan repayment assistance to 50 legal aid attorneys in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Over 92% of the CBF’s Sun-Times Fellows remain in public service today.Tags: Fellowships & Scholarships | Sun-Times Fellowship read more ...
October 17, 2016
Prestigious $40,000 scholarship will help Amanda Insalaco achieve that dream
From a young age, Amanda Insalaco has aspired to a career in public service. As the first in her family to attend college, she graduated with honors and determined she wanted to pursue that dream as a public service lawyer. Tonight, she is one big step closer to realizing that dream after she received the 2016 Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship.Tags: Fellowships & Scholarships | Marovitz Scholarship read more ...
October 13, 2016
All Illinois lawyers can expect to receive their annual ARDC registration statements this month, which again will include questions about their pro bono work and related financial contributions over the past year pursuant to the pro bono reporting requirement adopted by the Supreme Court in 2006. If you haven’t taken a pro bono case or made a financial contribution yet this year, it’s not too late. There’s still time for you to get involved and contribute before you complete your registration, and below are some resources to help you do that.Tags: Pro Bono | Resources | Volunteer read more ...
September 29, 2016
The legendary Yogi Berra was the source of so many great quotes that they became the source for a whole book, and his quote about the future is a very fitting title for my concluding post in the legal future series I kicked off back in January.
When it comes to the legal profession and access to justice, the future surely does look a lot different than it would have even a few years ago, and that is largely a good thing. While many of us face new professional challenges today that were not present ten years ago, we all have promising opportunities that could fundamentally change access to justice for the better while making for a happier, healthier and more effective legal profession for many years to come.
Another sports legend, Wayne Gretzky, offers us great advice as we look out towards that future: skate to where the puck is going, not where the puck has been.Tags: Billable hour | Future of the Profession read more ...
September 28, 2016
Chicago is known for its thriving arts scene, which is a big draw for both locals and tourists alike and an increasingly potent economic force for the city. A number of talented individuals and organizations make up that thriving arts scene, and a lot goes into their success. Perhaps the most underrated component of success in the arts is the availability of good legal help, particularly when individuals and organizations are just getting started.
Lawyers for the Creative Arts is the only nonprofit in Chicago that offers legal assistance to financially eligible artists and small arts organizations, and is also one of the many outstanding organizations you are supporting through the Investing in Justice Campaign.Tags: Investing in Justice Campaign | Legal Aid Organizations | Pro Bono read more ...